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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Hagar, Sammy - 2008 Cosmic Universal Fashion
Hagar, Sammy - 2008 Cosmic Universal Fashion

ARTIST: Hagar, Sammy
ALBUM: Cosmic Universal Fashion
LABEL: Loud And Proud
SERIAL: 1686 178912
YEAR: 2008


LINEUP: Sammy Hagar - vocals, guitar * Victor Johnson - guitars * Mona - bass * David Lauser - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cosmic Universal Fashion * 02 Psycho Vertigo * 03 Peephole * 04 Loud * 05 Fight For Your Right To Party * 06 Switch On The Light * 07 When The Sun Don't Shine * 08 24365 * 09 I'm On A Roll * 10 Dreams / Cabo



The last full Sammy Hagar solo album I partook in was the abysmal 1997 'Marching To Mars', Hagar's comeback album after splitting from Van Halen in 1996. Since then Sammy has released a string of unconvincing albums (judging from what little I've heard of them), none of which come close to Hagar's vintage solo years, pre-Van Halen. Hagar's last effort 'Livin' It Up' was reportedly a laid back Jimmy Buffet type affair, shameful in my eyes, enough for Hagar to return to a more traditional hard rock approach on this poorly titled album. Does it thrust Sammy back into the sounds of the 80's however? Of course not. Nobody expects that. But they surely expect something better than this, regardless of Sammy's 61 years of age.

The Songs
The title track is a collaboration with Iraqi songwriter Steven Lost and is not exactly riveting listening. Industrial loops and beats dominate the proceedings as Sammy pontificates about global misdirection to a poor melodic background. Hagar includes two tracks written with Neal Schon as part of an aborted project some years back, both 'Psycho Vertigo' and 'Peephole' containing some Led Zeppelin riffs, 'Psycho Vertigo' a mini 'Kashmir' while 'Peephole' boasts the most aggressive riffs of the album, probably the highlight of the entire opus. Hagar attempts to recapture his party rock vibe with 'Loud', but it lacks the charm of the 80's and Hagar sounds his age vocally,a laboured and forced effort unfortunately. Hagar attempts to build on this with a puzzling and pointless cover of the Beastie Boys 'Fight For Your Right To Party',with Hagar sounding as if his voice is about to give out. Hagar then returns ostensibly to his lovable beach bum rogue persona on the dull 'Switch On The Light' and 'When the Sun Don't Shine', the latter I could envision on country radio, a real snoozer. '24365' is another party anthem with inexplicably unmelodic guitar work to these ears. Elsewhere Sammy lets us know 'I'm On A Roll', in under three minutes, with a daft chorus which admittedly has some level of charm. Why Hagar chose to end the album with a nine minute live acoustic rendering of the Van Halen classic 'Dreams' and 'Cabo Wabo' is beyond me. It sounds like Hagar drunk at his club in Cabo Wabo itself, along with some patrons who have fooled themselves into thinking these tracks have worth played acoustically just to please Sammy. Total drivel.

In Summary
A massive flop and another notch in Hagar's increasingly tainted solo career. It appears as he ages Sammy wants to continue branching out while trying at odd moments to recapture the sounds and themes of his younger years. There are perhaps three songs here worth a couple of listens but nothing more. The magic seems to have deserted the aging red rocker unfortunately. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess, but living the life of luxury lazing by the beach sipping his tequila I'm sure Hagar really doesn't care at this stage.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on December 09 2008 15:47:51
I checked this out on Rhapsody, and I'm afraid I must agree. I've never found any Hagar album to be overly consistent - my fave by far is "VOA" as far as being one I can listen to straight through. This one has two pretty good songs - "Peephole" and "Loud". "Loud" sounds like one that he should give to one of the many country rocker guys you hear on country radio these days (I listen to country occasionally) - it would work nicely as a rockin' country song. "Fight For Your Right To Party" sounds pretty darn good except for Sammy's vocals, unfortunately. Apart from "Peephole" and "Loud", I'll probably not listen to any of them again except for one more time to make sure they don't do anything for me. And those two, while not bad, are not nearly as good as his best from the early to mid 80's period.

I bought "Marching To Mars" back in 1998 at a used CD store, and I sold it a couple of years later without making a cassette copy of it (way back in the dark pre-digital ages). I just gave it a listen on Rhapsody, and I see why I didn't keep it. It too has a couple of pretty good songs that will make it to my large AOR playlist, but it also doesn't measure up to the best of his earlier stuff. Sammy is one of those who really needs great material; given the right vehicle, he can put out some great songs. But his voice can't carry weaker tunes.
#2 | gdazegod on December 09 2008 21:50:19
I think he should chuck it in. Enjoy his retirement. This sort of material just ends up being a leadweight anchor, bogging down some of his very good earlier 80's releases.. unfortunately.
#3 | Eric on December 10 2008 14:25:50
I saw Sammy twice and never came away THAT impressed. The first time opening for Boston and he was awful. A few years later and a second time on the 'VOA' tour he headlined above Molly Hatchet and was just OK (Molly was better). His albums have never done much for me- half good/ half mediocre with a lot of filler. I know he has a lot of fans here, but I'm not one of 'em.
#4 | jeffduran on December 11 2008 20:19:29
absolute rubbish!
#5 | jeffrey343 on December 11 2008 20:51:16
Jeff Duran, somehow I just knew that would be your exact comment Grin
#6 | george_the_jack on December 12 2008 07:56:03
lol It's the classic Jeff's enjoyable reaction...! Grin I was really curious about this one but now that I've seen Jeff disgusted, I'm pretty sure 'cosmic universal fashion' will be a rather weak release compared to Sammy's glorious legacy.
#7 | richardb on December 12 2008 13:29:02
Retirement would definitely be the most sensible course of action for Mr Hagar (though this doesn't apply to all ageing rockers..).

Surely he doesn't need the money if MTV's "cribs" was anything to go by?

Richard B

P.S. Did anyone see the MTV "cribs" with Ted Nugent - that would have got the environmentalists amongst us really upset! - LOL!
#8 | Hardlover on January 21 2009 00:46:51
This is worthless shit. The tittle track is simply horrible!
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